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Södra's Green Balance Sheet reveals positive progress over past decade with steadily improving nature conservation considerations

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Södra's Green Balance Sheet reveals positive progress over past decade with steadily improving nature conservation considerations

April 22, 2020 - 08:43
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VAXJO, Sweden, April 20, 2020 (Press Release) -Nature conservation consideration taken in connection with Södra’s regeneration harvests and thinning operations has made positive progress over the past decade and is now at a consistently high level. This was revealed by the company’s Green Balance Sheet.

“It is gratifying to see that we can remain at this high level over time, particularly considering the extreme weather conditions we had to manage during the period. The Green Balance Sheet for the entire 2010s indicates that our systematic effort has helped to develop good nature conservation considerations in connection with forestry operations, which is something we want to continue to develop over the coming decade,” said Klara Joelsson, Ecologist at Södra.

The regeneration harvests and thinning operations included in the Green Balance Sheet are assessed using a number of parameters that taken together approve or reject the measure. Over the past ten years, the proportion of final harvesting and thinning operations approved has steadily increased and since 2015, these have been consistently above 90 percent.

Parameters assessed as part of the Green Balance Sheet include:

  • Saving and promoting buffer strips towards watercourses, wetlands and open agricultural land
  • Leaving dead wood to benefit species that depend on this
  • Taking into account the impact on soil and water when driving on forest land

“Södra has improved on all of these points during the decade, though with some variation between the years. In recent years, we have worked with specific measures to prevent damage to soil and water in connection with both final harvesting and thinning and offer a soil protection guarantee when we carry out these services for forest owners. This has helped to reduce driving damage on forest land,” said Klara Joelsson.

“Over the next decade, we will continue to build on our solid platform and work actively with consideration activities. There are always areas for improvement, and we will make sure we maintain or raise the quality of aspects where we are already strong. Measures will include a targeted initiative for cultural environments, where we have seen a need to raise quality. Taking appropriate and effective consideration is a continuous process,” said Klara Joelsson.

Facts:

Södra prepares a Green Balance Sheet every year. Internal auditors verify how more than 150 regeneration harvests and the same number of thinning operations have complied with the requirements of PEFC and FSC forest certification schemes regarding general considerations in final harvesting and thinning operations. How closely the company has followed its own policies and procedures for environmental considerations is also reviewed. The aim of the Green Balance Sheet is to create a basis for the continuous improvement of consideration activities. External audits are also performed every year by the international certification body, DNV GL.